U.S. judge hears arguments on Michigan presidential recount

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein waves to supporters as she leaves a news conference outside Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S. December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

By Gina Cherelus (Reuters) - A U.S. judge in Michigan heard arguments on Wednesday over whether he should reconsider an order he issued on Sunday to accelerate the presidential vote recount in that state requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, according to officials. The federal court hearing was held a day after contradictory court orders were issued relating to Stein's effort: a Michigan state appeals court on Tuesday ordered the recount be halted, while a federal appeals court said the process should proceed. The conflicting rulings had both sides claiming victory but left the future of Stein's bid unclear. Stein is trying to have the votes from the Nov. 8 presidential election recounted in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that were key to Republican Donald Trump's win. Even if they proceed, the recounts are extremely unlikely to change the outcome of the election. But Stein, who attracted only about 1 percent of the vote herself, has said that they are necessary to ensure the integrity of voting systems. Defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign has said it will take part in the recounts. In Michigan, U.S District Judge Mark Goldsmith heard arguments on Wednesday from the Michigan state court for lifting the order made the previous day by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had ruled that the recount should continue in the state. Because the Michigan state court also determined that Goldsmith's order was improper, the judge was expected to entertain any properly filed motions to dissolve or modify his ruling in the case. Goldsmith plans to issue a written opinion, possibly later on Wednesday by 5 p.m., according to court spokesman David Ashenfelter. The 6th Circuit's decision was issued shortly before an order by the Michigan Court of Appeals that the recount be halted on the grounds Stein was not an "aggrieved candidate" with standing to demand one. Stein sued in federal court in Pennsylvania on Monday to try to force a statewide recount of presidential votes there. In a setback for Stein's team on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas denied a full forensic analysis of the city's voting machines and their software, Stein's team said in a statement. Her team had argued such an analysis was the only way to guarantee the accuracy of the city's election results. "The court's decision will deny voters the chance to know the truth about this election," Ilann Maazel, counsel at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady and lead counsel for Stein's campaign recount effort in Pennsylvania, said in the statement. (Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Jonathan Oatis)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting